Nevada state lottery poised for possible public vote

April 28, 2023
By
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Recently Senate lawmakers reviewed proposed legislation to give the public a vote regarding the repeal of a ban on state lotteries.

Nevada’s ban on state lotteries could potentially come to an end, after a public vote. Assembly Joint Resolution 5 (ARJ5) was introduced in mid-March and has recently passed the Assembly floor in a 26-15 vote.

ARJ5 is sponsored by Assemblyman Cameron C.H. Miller, a Democrat representing North Las Vegas. The possible legislation would amend the Nevada Constitution with a repeal on a current provision barring the Silver State from operating a lottery or selling lottery tickets.

If the resolution is passed in this legislative session, ARJ5 will also need to pass in the next session before ultimately being added to a ballot for voters’ consideration and potential approval in 2026.

Miller said, “AJR5 will not create a lottery in Nevada. What it will do is give Nevadans the opportunity to vote on whether or not they want a lottery in Nevada.”

Culinary Union lobbyist, Paul Catha, commented on the type of program a state lottery could fund, “Sustainable investment in youth mental health is good public policy that is long overdue and implementing a state lottery would allow Nevada to address an ongoing and urgent public health crisis.”

Representatives from the Nevada Resorts Association, Boyd Gaming, Meruelo Gaming, and other companies have opposed the measure, saying that lottery funds are not guaranteed to be used on mental health initiatives.

Nick Vassiliadis, a lobbyist for the Nevada Resort Association, also commented, “Nowhere else is a state as reliant on a single industry for employment for economic development, for economic diversity as Nevada is with gaming.

“The lottery does not add new jobs. The lottery doesn’t add capital investments. The lottery doesn’t add brick and mortar establishments.”

Nevada recently released its March gaming revenue, which though still over $1bn, has dropped year-over-year.

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